Novel, Regenerable Microlith Catalytic Reactor for CO2 Reduction via Bosch Process

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road Array
North Haven, CT 06473
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) proposes to develop an extremely compact, lightweight and regenerable Microlith<SUP>REG</SUP> catalytic CO2 reduction reactor, capable of converting mixtures of CO2 and H2 to carbon and water vapor with high CO2 conversions at high throughputs and at low operating temperatures. This is based on a novel catalytic reactor approach with high heat and mass transfer, high conversion efficiency, narrow temperature distribution, and novel approaches to carbon removal. The utilization of carbon dioxide to produce life support consumables, such as O2 and H2O, via Bosch reaction offers a potential advance for NASA's cabin atmosphere revitalization system (ARS) and in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) concepts for long-term manned space missions. Current Bosch reactor designs suffer from a large recycle penalty due to slow reaction rates and the inherent limitation in approaching thermodynamic equilibrium, plus significant challenge in carbon removal. PCI's short contact time catalysts offer the potential for faster reaction rates, higher conversions and a reduced need for recycle. In addition, strategies will be explored for more effective mechanical and chemical approaches to carbon removal and catalyst regeneration. The approach offers a potential for an ultra-compact Bosch reactor with improved effectiveness and robustness, with lower pressure drop and power requirement.